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Meet the Press

News/Business. (2013) Francis George; Chris Van Hollen; Kevin McCarthy; Frank Keating; Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. (CC)

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  NBC    Meet the Press    News/Business.  (2013) Francis George; Chris Van Hollen;  
   Kevin McCarthy; Frank Keating; Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. (CC)  

    March 18, 2013
    3:00 - 3:59am PDT  

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with a whole lot of young people who sold tacos endlessly in order to afford a chartered bus, and i was moved by it because they were. i saw how it changed their lives, had a huge impact on that diocese, but pope benedict wasn't as extroverted. he was a kind man, a shy man, and he wasn't used to showing that in public, and this man is a pastor, first and foremost, he spent all his life being close to people, especially the poor, close to his own brothers in his religious society and also to the people he served in a large diocese in very difficult times, so he's a man of integrity, and that signs through even when he has to say this isn't what christ wants, he says it apparently in a way that people can at least hear it even if they don't agree with it. that's an important pastoral node i hope we'll learn from in
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the years to come. >> as a management matter, as a crisis management matter, what does pope francis do to come to terms with sexual abuse in the church that begins to close the chapter for the church? >> well, i can't close that chapter, none of us can, as long as there are victims b s becausu to have accompany them, if they're willing to accompany them, but we have to keep doing that. as far as the scandal itself, everyone that we know of who has done this, whether bishop or priest, is out of public ministry and will remain out because we had to change the law to do that and it took some time. he supports that, and then we have to be sure that it won't happen again, as much as we possibly can, and then stay with the victims. but the structures are in place now, the code has been changed. the thing is every time there's a new report, then everything happens yesterday instead of 20 or 30 years ago which is often
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the case now. >> there's the issue, i think for a lot of american catholics, of the impact that pope francis can have on cultural and political debates in america. gary bower, the evangelical leader in the united states, wrote something for "usa today" this week that caught my attention and i'll share it with our audience. as an evangelical, i was delighted that the last two popes were moral and theological giants, john paul ii and benedict roxvi introduced an er in which the cathric church offers confident rebuttal to the false promises of the secular world. how would you like to see pope francis influence american political debates? we have so many of them, whether it's abortion or gay marriage, how would you like to see that impact? >> i think he simply has to preach the gospel and then do it in a way that is accessible and the holy spirit makes the
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impact, we believe. conversion of heart and mind is not something any pope or preacher can do. that depends upon god's grace, but you have to prooech the gosp gospel, and he'll do that. in a sense, you can say there is no god and freud is his praufrt, so for the sake of sexual liberation, we're allowing a lot of things to be let go. we'll see what happens. we can only trust that the lord is still with his people and loved the world that his son died to save. >> your imminence, isn't that part of the struggle, what you're speaking about, preaching from the gospel? so many gathrics in the country see the tension between church doctrine and their own lives that are leading them in a different direction, whether there's a majority of catholics in marriage who support gay marriage, those who call for a greatal role for women in the church, who are less opposed to abortion or even contraception.
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how does he resolve that tension? >> i'm not sure you can resolve it when it's a matter of principal. all those matters weren't around 50 years ago. what has happened to our culture that suddenly these become cultural imperatives? in history, when you take a look at societies that come and go, when the chips are down, people usually go with their society, usually, not always, and those that don't are often the minoertd. we want to create a security that isn't quite as odds with the gospel of jesus christ as it seems ours has become, so the phenomenon you're talking about is gnaw new, again, however, the church is universal, so we have to stay with the entire church, and we have to say with categories the aren't cultural. conservative and cultural are what you're using. our categories are what is true and what is false and what is the evidence for that. >> i have to ask you in closing, if you could describe the sense of spiritual renewal you feel
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with pope francis, i'm not catholic, but i was certainly caught up in that sense of renewal that i think catholics and noncatholics alike feel when you have such an important transition like this. >> all i can say is that during the conclave, i felt personally a deep sense of the presence of the lord. even as you vote and you write that name, you have to be sure that you're free, that you're not doing it for self interest, and you have to be sure that the man you're electing is free to do the ministry. in that freedom, there will be renewal. >> we appreciate your time very much this morning. >> thank you, david. good being with you. >> thank you. i'm joined by a roundtable, our republican strategist, anna navarro, chris matthews, former lieutenant governor of maryland and author of "failing america's faithful" kathleen townsend, and former chairman of the u.s. conference of catholic bishops review board, frank keating.
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welcome to all of you. kind of a setup of a joke, a nice jewish boy moderating a discussion on catholics. when a church needs reform, as this one does, you know back to jesus christ. you felt that very strongly? >> i think one thing that unite all catholics is concern for the poor, and this basic way that jesus led his life. he was a jewish guy. if you can agree on that, the rest is easy. 3,000 years ago, the rest is sort of details. i think we have to go back. not that it should be reformation, but the idea of looking out for the poor and being humble. and loving each other. i mean, it's very basic, very positive and generous. it's not about the old order that jesus went into, which is rules and scribes and sticking by the rules, but the are are se things that could change. we could have women priests, we're not going to have a different attitude about
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abortion, probably, issues, but i think it can be revisited about birth control. things can be refined and changed. i think a woman deacon, women have more of a role in church. nuns have more of a governing authority. that could all be done by any pope. >> the center of gravity changing, look at the mere fact of a pope from the americas and how many catholics are from latin america, some 40% of over a billion catholics in the world, anna, are latinos. and this is such a significant moment. when the church changes. >> huge, david. really, i can't talk about what it means for hispanics. there's a lot of rivalries between latin american countries. i can tell you we are all so thrilled at having a latin pope, we don't even mind he's argentinian. just wonderful to have a pope that is going to be able to relate to the americas that lived in political strife, that
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lived under the repression, that has seen what is going on in argentina, the poverty, the economic crisis, that can not only speak our language but can get our ladnguage, is one of us. i think you'll see him active on issues like immigration. you're going to see that the archbishops will be more active in that even though they have been active already. and like chris, i do hope to see more participation by women in the church. i would like to see more respect, more equality for the nuns. chris' wife, i, kathleen, we're all sacred heart girls, and i it tell you, this church could use a much more present and vocal nunhood in the running of the church and the other thing that's very important is, you know, here in the united states, sometimes we get real happy when somebody comes in that's from outside of washington. for me, it gives me real hope to have somebody come in from outside the vatican because there are real problems in the vatican, and it may take an
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outsider. a no-nonsense humble outsider focused on the people to renew the hope and enthusiasm of catholics all over the world. >> cakathleen, you wrote in you book "failing america's fai faithful" something about the role you would like to see the faith play more generally. my own catholic church has allowed its social agenda to be trumped on focus on contraception, same-sex marriage, none that are dealt with in poverty, sickness, and i asked cardinal george. how did you respond? >> my heart is full at the moment. i'm very excited about this pope because he seems to represent simplicity and humility, and a willingness to listen. he understands the importance o saying to all of the other cardinals, come in, we're all in this together. he took the name st. francis
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because he said he's the saint of the poor. >> he paid his own bill, by the way, at his room after getting the job. >> we should share in what chris said so true, what all catholics have shared is the caring and attention to the poor. that's what we need. we need something that brings us all together, that we're all human together. and i'm very excited about him. i love that he chose st. francis because one of my favorite words from st. francis is preach the gospels. and use words only if necessary. and i like the idea that it's -- as a jesuit as well, you look to yourself, you have to improve yourself, then you go out so it's not this hire aerarchal ch and their gowns and princes of the church, but the humility and simplicity. >> robert francis, of course. >> chris, of course, is pointing out that my father was robert francis. chris, you know, makes the
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connections that nobody else even tries to go there. >> frank keating, we can also in a way without being disrespectful, is look at the pope as politician in a way. and the national journal this week had some advice focus on messaging administration, take advantage of larger than life personality. use social media, but use it wisely. revamp the pr. there's aspects of all of that that he has to bring to bear. >> happy st. pat's. >> thank you very much. >> you seem awfully nonirish. i want you to know. >> i agree with everybody here, how exciting it is to have, after 1200 years, somebody outside of europe, how exciting to have a jesuit. this, as a georgetown product, to have a jesuit embrace st. francis of assisi, and as a francis, i'll thrilled about that, but the reality of this
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is, and i think everyone made this point, you have an individual to lives a life of humility and will insist that the church live a life of humility. in the united states, 50% of social services are provided by the catholic church. what this pope is saying to the cardinals and bishops in the united states, i think, is we need to care about the defenseless, the left out, the left behind, the poor. lift them up, love them as christ loves them. but realize we are an institution to serve, not an institution to be served. and i think that's what's remarkable about this. >> what about the political element, and by that, i mean the fact that the church wants to influence american debates. and look at this in terms of how catholics view whether the church is out of touch with their own thinking, their own development of conscience and their life experience. 53% in a poll recently said the church is out of touch. only 39% said that it's in touch. chris matthews, the cardinal was
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talking about, you know, continuing to preach from the gospels on this. but there is a real split on some of the issues we are debating in america right now that are about social policy where the church, you know, benedict was very doctrineare about this and quite conservative on gay marriage? >> i can't say a lot of this on television. it doesn't sound right on television, but there's always been a real suspicion generally speaking about the way the church handled this sexual abuse of alter boys and governor keating was involved in trying to deal with that horrible thing, but it was never dealt with quickness. speed is like watergate, you have to be there all those years when nothing is getting done. taef every time you drive to the vice president's house, is this guy standing on the corner? i believe it looking at him, who was abused by priests as a kid. he was on the corner every day when i drove home. every single day he was there with a sandwich board.
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h he was there before 2000, and all those years the church was slow to act. i think that slowness made a lot of us suspicious they were covering up more than just this. there were a lot of people with their own embarrassments, and every catholic who goes to church thinks like that, and they don't like talking about this, maybe i shouldn't have now, but they think, what side are they on? >> i don't think you should feel any catholic guilt about talking about this. we must air this out and this pope must understand and he does that it's part of what he has to do. i can tell you, i'm a catholic who has grown very distanced from the church and it has been over this sexual scandal. i can't get over the coverup. i can't get over putting the institution above the people. this is something that i hope he brings me back, and i think there's a lot of american catholics who feel the same way i do. we want that hope. we want the hope from the new pope, and hope that he brings it back. >> chaired that catholic review
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board, and i think we catholics have a tendency to wait to be told as opposed to participate in the debate. and when i was asked to chair the board, i didn't choose my board. we had a wonderful group of active catholics and we were horrified at the extent of this. and the three elements of the catholic review board, transparency, if you're going to settle a case, we want to know about it. criminal referal, anyone who does this is a criminal and should go to jail, and zero tolerance. i insisted on due process and zero tolerance, but it was an agonizing and humiliating moment for the church. the bishops were up front and aggressive, then some started sliding backward and said let's not get too carried away, but it was a very, very difficult moment for the faith, and to your point, we haven't gotten out of it and over it yet, and hopefully this pope, the new pope, will be very aggressive to see that righteousness and
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virtue is paramount. >> does it overwhelm, kathleen, this issue, when where showed the poll about the views of the church being out of touch, the ability of the church to then impact these other political debates, whether it's women in the church or abortion or contraception, which we have seen play out, or gay marriage, which is now front and center for us now. >> just to go back to what frank said earlier, i think what happened in the scandal is that we learned that our priests, our bishops, weren't protecting us, and we who loved our church had to take control of our church ourselves. you have seen that with the nuns who have done a terrific job of saying, we're catholic. we're part of the church. and if the bishops aren't doing the right thing, we'll be able to stand up and say that. that's been, i think in a way, a great liberation for what it means to be catholic. and i think that this pope, by actually saying to the other bishops, you know, i'm the
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bishop of rome, i'm not the head -- i'm not the pope of the whole church, is saying that we are going to have to take much more control of our lives. now, what role they play on these issues is the question. is the church has always had a range of issues, and what have they focused on? unfortunately in the last 20 years i would say they have focused mostly on sex. i hope with this pope, they'll focus more on something that brings us together rather than eventually saying you're bad on sex. >> as catholics, we know a pope is human, and we don't have to agree with him on everything, but we have to know he's coming from a right place. >> beyond this conversation going on among catholics, as you look at this catholic moment in american politics, what does he mean? >> i think our backgrounds are different. you're jewish, i'm catholic, we're taught, we're not the
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majori majority. we're a minority religion. therefore, this is a very different attitude toward the church than other catholic churches. we are not spain, not ireland even. we recognize all of the other religions have an equal right to their beliefs. that's why they're hesitant on the pro choice issue, even to obey their deepest moral beliefs. but i want to get back to, let me stick to that because the first thing the pope did was call the chief rabbi in rome and open up a relationship. these things, respecting people, it's universal. we americans can agree completely on these good things, and that would be nice because i think we have an american religion. i think we agree on a lot of these things together. and i know what you were feeling when you said you were inspired because there's a common hope that we can find a common morality. >> you're coming back. we'll tall politics, but up
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next, the debt dual in washington. is something going to get done this year, and would a balanced budget hurt the economy? joining me for debate, the republican wlip in the house, kevin mccarthy, and the top democrat on the budget committee, congressman chris van hollen. >> we'll talk about the future of the republican party, and republican governor scott walker of [ kate ] many women may not be absorbing the calcium they take as well as they could because they don't take it with food. switch to citracal maximum plus d. it's the only calcium supplement
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on tuesday, the day a new pope was installed in rome, president obama makes a sensitive trip to the holy land for his first presidential trip to israel. the trip isn't ambitious. mostly the president seems to be responding to critics who question why he's not been to israel as president. truth is reagan never wept, and president george w. bush only visited during his final months in office. the president, however, is dogged by the perception that he's pulled toward the government of america's strongest ally in the middle east and by the criticism that his outreach to improve relations with the muslim world has been at israel's expense. during an interview on friday with me for "press pass," israel's ambassador to the u.s. sought to downplay any rift.
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>> there is a u.s./israel relationship which is deep, which is unbreakable, and that's a message of assurance to the people of israel at a very turbulent time in our region and a message to the people of the middle east. >> mr. obama will visit the grave site of theodore hertz el, the father of modern zionism, meant to send a strong signal to the region that this president stands behind israel as its right to exist as jewish state. also on the agenda, a visit to the holocaust memorial and the church of the nativity in bethlehem, a revered site for christians. stay with nbc news for comprehensive coverage of the president's trip starting wednesday. coming up here, our roundtable is back and wisconsin's republican governor scott walker joins the conversation. conservatives wrap up a big conversation. conse[ male announcer ] big you are a business pro. omnipotent of opportunity. you know how to mix business... with business. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle.
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congressman from california, kevin mccarthy. welcome to both of you. big week in this debt duel, competing budgets in the senate, in the house. how these get reconciled i don't know. but i want to start with a different part of the debate. the president i thought was pretty provocative this week in talking about the need to take on the debt all together. it was just days before the election last fall, and he spoke to mika beer sin ski and joe scarborough of "morning joe," and this is what he said back then. >> how would you define your mandate for the next four years? and what is i would like to know the sacrifice that will be asked not just of the 1% but of the 99% as well. well, there's no doubt our first order of business will be to get our deficits and debt under control. >> then just this week, a different tone. he said we don't have an immediate crisis in terms of debt. in fact, the next ten years it's going to be a sustainable place." congressman van hollen, why the change? >> it's not a change.
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they're totally consistent. right now our big problem is to sustain the economic recovery. we've seen momentum in the job market. and the last thing we want to do right now is to put the brakes on that. in fact, one-half of this year's deficit is due to unemployment, the fact that more people aren't at work. so what the president saying our focus right now should be to get people back to work, sustain the recovery, and then reduce the deficit in a measured, balanced way. there's no doubt that we have to do it and the budgets the president will present and the ones we will present will do that. it will put us on a sustained downward trajectory on deficits. but our priority is job growth. >> this is the point, right? his argument is don't get us in the middle of austerity in the next ten years. you're going to hurt economic recovery rather than solve the problem you want to solve. >> no. the president said deficits don't matter. all these deficits add up. we're at $16.6 trillion. more than 100% of our gdp. the problem is i disagree with what the democrats are doing. it's the old washington fiscal
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game of jenga. you try to build as much debt as you can take, as much taxes you can take until you topple the entire economy. this is the challenge that this week will have. this week republicans will have a budget that balances in ten years. the democrats' budget never balances. no household can run that way. >> let me challenge you on this point because here is paul ryan this week, and he laid out very clearly what he thought the job was. let me play that. >> we think we owe the country a balanced budget. we think we owe the country solutions to big problems that are plaguing our nation -- a debt crisis on the horizon, a slow-growing economy, people trapped in poverty. we're showing our answers. >> right, but the answers rely on $700 billion in savings from interest. most of the deficit reduction comes from repealing the president's health care reform, which nobody thinks is going to happen. so how seriously should this be viewed as a roadmap for a balanced budget? >> it should be very serious,
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because budgets -- >> you're not going to repeal obama care. >> budgets are blue prints and priorities. we lay out. we think obama care should be repealed. the majority of americans agree with us. but we also think tax reforms should happen so you can grow the economy. if you allow these debts to continue to grow, they crowd out the private sector, crowd out the opportunity for small businesses to grow. that's why the economy continues to linger. if we are able to balance the budget, which ours does in ten years, you will unshack this will growth in america. >> david, it's worse than that. their budget is built on a hoax. on the one hand, they say it balances in ten years. on the other hand, they say they'd repeal obama care. the fact is they repeal all the benefits of obama care, the things that help provide affordable health care to millions more americans. but you know what, they keep the savings in obama care, and if you were to repeal obama care today, their budget would not be in balance. now, kevin has said that our budget will never balance. we believe that our projections show that the balance we will
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submit will actually balance. it will balance at the same time the republicans' budget balanced last year, which is out in the future, around 2040, because we put ourselves on a path downward. but our priority, our priority is to have job growth. and their budget will slow job growth at exactly the wrong time. >> but aren't you also building something that's false in the political climate that republicans face? i mean, here the senate budget requires more tax increases, roughly a trillion dollars. you know how difficult it is for your colleague here to go back to bakersfield or other conservatives to go back to the districts and say we need more tax increases when there simply isn't support for that. >> david, two things. one, the senate democratic plan has less tax revenue embedded in it than the bipartisan simpson/bowles plan, number one. number two, republicans in their budget say they're about $5.7 trillion in tax breaks that you can eliminate.
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their plan would drop the top rate from 39% to 25%. they claim that they're going to make that up by just taking away deductions from the wealthy. but the reality is they're going to be raising taxes on middle-income taxpayers. family will pay $2,000 more. it will finance tax breaks to the very wealthy. it's like the romney plan on steroids. >> you would dispute that. "the wall street journal," though, congressman, wrote thing something on friday that caught my attention. the headline, conservatives warn lawmakers against tax deals. conservative activists and organizations have begun warning republican logtss if they agree to raise taxes in a broad budget deal with the president, they should expect to face challenges from the party's right wing in the next primary elections. i've tried to ask this week after week. any ratio of spending cuts to tax increases that any republican is prepared to support? >> every viewer that's watching today that's working already got a tax increase. the president took $600 billion out of this economy.
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he talks about a balanced plan but he never talked about cutting. >> but you extended 99% of the bush tax cuts, your own leader said that was a pretty good deal. >> he raised $600 billion worth of taxes. he took from the economy, and he never made any cuts. look, the president has a different belief than we do. he believes deficits don't matter. we do. this president has never missed on a deadline turn in a march madness bracket but four out of five times he missed turning in a budget. >> i asked you about spending cuts to tax increases. any ratio you could expect. >> no new tax increases because you don't need it. if you look at the report -- >> you'll never get entitlement reform without tax increases. is that political reality? >> why do you have to wait? why does the public have to have a bigger crisis? the longer we wait, the more we add to it. there's only one person at this table who who voted to raise medicare. the republicans did not. we're planning to save medicare not only for this generation but for the future. and for someone to say that you can't do that -- >> raise medicare, what -- you
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said to raise medicare. >> save medicare. >> their plan is with medicare by shifting rising costs and burdens on the beneficiaries rather than reduces costs. kevin repeatedly says the president never talks about cuts. we did $1.5 trillion in cults over the last couple years. the president's plan that he's put on the table for republicans has another $900 billion in cuts. but, yes, we also want to cut the special tax breaks, the tax expenditures for very wealthy people which, by the way, speaker boehner said he had a plan that could raise $800 billion by doing exactly that. let's see your plan. >> before i let you go, i want to just cover a couple other issues while the budget fight continues. on gun control, is it possible that what passes for meaningful reform is a background check that looks like it's still complicated in the senate but could pass? can it pass the house? >> actually what came out of the
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senate, it was the senate committee, i don't think that bill passes the full floor. the house is taking up the bills right now. they're analyzing it. i would say that's prejudging to say where they go. >> do you think that universal background checks is a reasonable way to deal with gun violence? >> i think that's one of the things they will look at. doesn't mean it will pass. they'll also look at -- in california, we have a background check. the challenge i have, they're not enforced. if you looked at the president's administration, even though somebody came in, put in the form but they lied on it, they won't prosecute. the first thing you have to do is look at what we're doing with the current laws we have and see if we can go there. >> if they have background checks in california, we should have universal background checks. they should be enforced. this is a commonsense idea approved by all americans, gun owners and nongun owners alike. there should be a simple vote on universal background checks or whatever other measures come out
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of the united states senate. the people who were shot down in newtown, people shot down every day, they deserve a vote on these very important issues. >> the issue of energy is one that looks to be something that the president and perhaps can get some bipartisan agreement. that xl pipeline coming down from canada, the state department, congressman, has cleared the way for the president to say, yes, let's open it up. wy whooi shouldn't he? >> i'm in the process of looking at the state department's analysis. they did a very complicated analysis. we have resolved that you can actually build the pipeline safely in terms of the committees it goes through but a they rerouted the pipeline, because the president and others raised concerns. now the question is whether or not the overall climate effects, the overall energy impacts are something for us. i'm in the process of looking at the state department's report right now. >> that's the easiest thing to do. you could create 20,000 new jobs. it's been out there for three years. this is the challenge. energy is even in our budget.
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the budget that balances, it puts a new energy perspective in there that has energy independence. how many jobs would that create? why do we have to wait? this is common sense. this isn't talking act getting more taxes, doing something on social security. just make the decision and build the keystone pipeline. >> well, we've gotten all of the above energy strategy. we have more oil and gas being produced now than we did before. and natural gas throughout the country. it's a good thing. >> it is. >> natural gas is a good thing. >> so there's alternatives. >> there are lots of people who have these leases right now who aren't using them. let's see them use them. >> let's see if this progresses more easily than the budget. good luck to both of you as these debates continue. thanks very much. we'll come back after this short break. our roundtable will be back to talk politics and the governor who took on the unions in his state in a pretty high-profile way and survived politically to talk about it.
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siemens. answers. we understand in this country that the true way to live the american dream is not to grow up someday and dream about being dependent on the government. it's about empowering people through the dignity of work to control their own destiny through the benefits of a job in the private sector that brings true freedom and prosperity. >> we are back now with more from our roundtable. joining the conversation is republican governor of wisconsin scott walker. governor, good to have you back. that was you at this gathering of conservatives. i want to talk about the future of the party. first, let me get some reaction to this debate about the budget. from where you sit as a governor, here you have this tension right now between the parties, and the president, i thought, really sort of clarifying his position this week saying we don't have a debt crisis, we are not in a hurry to balance this budget. let's focus on the economy first. >> i think we need to do both. in our states when i ran i
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talked about both the economic and fiscal crisis we faced and we acted on it. most governors, democrat or republican, not only because we have balanced budgets in all but once state but more importantly because we understand a balanced budget, it's spending within your means and connects you to the economy. we need to do both, create a better environment for jobs but also live within our means. >> talk act reality, as well. you just heard it. no ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases republicans will accept. democrats will not cut or reform entitlements on their own. so there is no grand bargain to be had. >> it's the problem overall. one of the frustrations in washington is the fact you have on one hand the entitlement issue and you said democrats aren't going to move the direction without more tax revenue. on the other hand, you have republicans saying hey, if we're going to have tax reform we should reform it, get rid of the loopholes but put it into lowering rates to stimulate the economy. >> chris mathews, you made a point this week on a panel discussion saying you don't think the republicans are
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telling the whole story. they don't want to cut medicare or social security either. >> the problem is both sides are in positions they're happy to be in. that's why they all prefer sequestration to the next situation, which is if you're a republican, the democrats are basically saying -- i'm speaking for you here -- basically saying, okay, why don't you raise taxes on people that have big tax loopholes like home mortgages and charitable contributions, which is never going to happen. so they're really talking act raising revenues, raising taxes. in exchange, we'll let you take responsibility for cutting medicare. i mean, why would any republican ever seek re-election saying, yes, i did cut taxes, i raised taxes on people that are out in this audience and also screwed you on medicare? why would anybody want to do that? >> ana navarro, this is part and parcel of where the republican is going. near as i can tell, it's been hanging out in maryland at the cpac conference. your trinkets, stand with rand posters. >> i'm still twiping, so you
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know, three days after at cpac. but rand paul had an entire campaign going on. it did not happen by accident. >> here's what i want to do. two sound bites from this week, two different visions of the road ahead. let's play that and get some reaction. >> we don't need a new idea. there is an idea. it's called america. and it still works. >> the gop of old has grown stale and moss covered. i don't think we need to name any names, do we? >> one of the things he means i think, senator mccain, or picked a fight with hawks in the republican party. who's the face right now? what does it mean to be a conservative in the party right now? >> i don't think we know. i think that we learned something in these last three days, is that you can see it one of two ways. there's a very healthy debate going on or the conservatives are suffering from multiple personality disorder, because i
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heard both some panels and some speeches that were very pro-immigration reform, and then i heard some very against. i heard panels that were very strong on national defense and having a strong role for the u.s. and international security, and i heard some that were rather isolationist in saying we need to back off. i think there was a lot of debate going on. you could either see it as healthy or you could see it as not healthy. >> frank keating, where are you with all this? >> well, i mean, cpac, i was the emcee once for one of their -- >> former governor. >> dinner several years ago. it really is a spring stew. you have conservatives. you have social conservatives. you have economic conservatives. you have libertarians. and rand paul won the cpac poll. what is his viewpoint? his dad's, i guess, would be legalize heroin, get rid of nato. i mean, it's a very, very -- >> he wants to cut the department of education. he wants to stop aid to --
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>> it's all over the place. that to me is the conservatives, not the common denominator of the party. what is the common denominator of the party i think is growth, opportunity, incomes, making us finally address this very serious debt, deficit. >> you're going to iowa. would you like to be a nominee of the republican party? i've been to michigan, illinois, other places. i'm satisfied being governor of wisconsin. i had to do it twice to run for office. but both senators, they're somewhere in between. there's the prince. s that are timeless combined with the fact that we need to be more relevant as conservatives and republicans. what i mean by that, to your point, who in america grows up wanting to be dependent on government? who moves in from another country, comes in as an imgrant and doesn't want to live the american dream? we need to be the movement and the party that says we're the ones that have you not become dependent on government but empower you to live your treatment dream for more freedom and prosperity. >> we used to talk act conservativism as a three-legged stool. i can tell you at least one or two of those legs are awfully
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wobbly if you judge it by the cpac conference because the national security, the strong defense is getting wobbly. and also social views, social issues. you've got rand paul saying let's back off from talking about that. so, i mean, we're either down to being a bicycle or unicycle depending on who's speaking. >> rob portman, senator from ohio, where there was a gay marriage -- an effort on gay marriage back in 2004 that was a big part of turning out the base for george w. bush. he had a change of heart on gay marriage this week. this is what he said about it to cnn. >> i'm announcing today a change of heart on an issue that a lot of people feel strongly about. it has to do with gay couples' opportunity to marry. i've come to the conclusion that for me personally i think this is something that we should allow people to do, to get married and to have the joy and the stability of marriage that i've had for over 26 years.
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i want all three of my kids to have it, including our son who's gay. >> something that he's known about for a couple years, said it was not a factor in mitt romney not selecting him to be a running mate. how do you react to that? >> i think there's just a sea change, obviously, in gay right, and i'm very excited about that. i think as more and more people are comfortable saying my child is gay, my best friend is gay, my -- you know, my niece, my nephew are gay, it's going to change. it is changing. i think it's a wonderful opportunity -- you know, america is saying we're going to allow everybody -- you know, everybody to come in, everybody to be able to participate. and i think that's very, very exciting. i would say about the question about the republican party talking about growth, i mean, just to go back to the other issue, growth really could occur, as pointed out, by spending government money. you can see what has happened in england when everybody's practiced austerity. the currency is going down.
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and the unemployment is worse. so i don't know if the republicans are really interested in growth if they're not actually saying let's spend money now. this is our biggest challenge. >> stay on the gay marriage issue if i can because i want your reaction to both. is it -- governor walker, is it a civil rights issue? do you sense a sea change in the republican party on this issue? >> well, i think the senator's announcement made the topic timely, but in our state, i mean, the fs in the constitution years ago. they made a similar change in ohio. it didn't come up in my 2010 election or 2012. >> you said it's generational. >> i think it is. >> are younger conservatives more apt to see marriage equality as something that is, you know, what they believe, that is basic rather than as a disqualifying issue? >> i think there's no doubt about that. but i think that's all the more reason, when i talk about things, i talk about the economic and fiscal crises in our state and in our country, that's what people want to resonate about. they don't want to get focused on those issues.
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>> frank? >> well, i think the issue is sensitive, real -- a challenge in families and in society. you know, there is a sea change going on. i think federally and certainly at the state level over the course of the last 20 years 30 states still have a prohibition against sarnlme-sex marriages. and you can see generationally where that has changed. i would hope we wouldn't have one bludgeoned federal solution one way or the other. but let the states resolve this state by state. my state, oklahoma, would probably -- i don't think probably, would, in fact, have a traditional marriage view. other state, maryland, for example, just voted for same-sex marriage. >> first state in the country. >> and i think that's federalism working as it should. >> but i want people -- >> it gets down to the question whether it's a right or not. i think you're going to see that with the court this decision. we're all watching, you know, anthony kennedy. we want to know whether we're
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going to get a decision like the lawrence case where the liberty clause is paramount. we have a declaration, our founding document, which gives us the right to pursue ham piness. and we do have a liberty clause, which is you can't take away a person's life, liberty, or property without due process of law. do we have a right to deny someone marrying a right of their own gender? is it a right? this is a profound question. we can't talk about it in practical terms like this. do you have the right to follow your love? this is a serious question. i don't think we get away with it with just day-to-day politics. >> do you think, governor, there's that right? >> the interesting thing from the generational standpoint is i've had young people ask me i think an appropriate question, is not expanding it to include folks who are not one man and woman but questioning why the government is sanctioning it in the first place. that would be an alternative to say not have the government sanction it, period, and leave that up to the churches and the synagogues -- >> well there are social security payments and all kinds of things involved and rights of
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persons in the military. >> as the youngest person on this panel, i think it is generational. people like will portman are a lot more comfortable living their truth today than they were 20, 30, 40 years ago. but it is a personal choice. as republicans, we are the party of personal freedoms, family values. it is an issue of tolerance. i want people who are pro traditional marriage to tolerate my views and don't think that makes me less moral or less of a republican. and i need to tolerate the views of those who think marriage is just a man and a woman and know of those who think marriage is just [ male announcer ]and know i've seen incredible things. otherworldly things. but there are some things i've never seen before. this ge jet engine can understand 5,000 data samples per second. which is good for business. because planes use less fuel, spend less time on the ground and more time in the air. suddenly, faraway places don't seem so...far away.
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good monday morning. coming up on "early today," a private jet crashes into three homes killing two people, but there is one young survivor. political warfare. rove against sarah palin. the insults are flying. pope francis is already shaking up the catholic church even ahead of his official installation. plus, an amazing helicopter jail break. guilty verdicts in the steubenville rape case, but that's not the end. and the world goes green for st. patrick's. "early today" starts right now. >> announcer: this is "early today" for monday, march 18, 2013. very good morning to you. i'm richard lui. investigators are on scene in northern indiana this morning after a fiery crash involved a small private jet. four peerm people were on board there. two have died. early reports say the plane was experiencing mechanical troubles in the final minutes.
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nbc's francis kuo has the latest for us on the crash and investigation. >> reporter: the twin-engine jet crashed into three homes as it was coming into the south bend airport sunday afternoon. a neighbor was in his yard and saw the plane crash into the home across the street. >> heard the jet engines coming and looked up and thought the plane was going to crash into our house and i just hit the deck and i heard a loud boom noise and the plane went into three houses across the street from us. >> reporter: the jet started leaking fuel into the basement of one of the homes prompting officials to evacuate the area. >> there is quite a bit of fuel that is still in the basement, and that is the main concern. that's one of the main reasons why we have the area blocked. >> reporter: the federal aviation administration says the plane took off from tulsa headed for south bend and reported mechanical problems shortly before crashing. investigators from the national transportation safety board have been called to the scene to try to determine what caused the plane to crash.